Friendship is always a sweet responsibility, never an opportunity.-Khalil Gibran
Pick up the phone.
Write the email.
Do it. Now.
Why? Because life changes, that’s why. Last night, I got together with some girlfriends who I have known and laughed with for the past 7 years. We met when our kids attended the same darling, little preschool. I recalled setting up for the school’s auction with two of them…we were hanging lights and I hesitantly asked one of them if she’d like to go to coffee sometime. We seemed to hit it off. I might as well have been an 8th grade boy asking a girl out for the first time, I was so stupidly nervous. I was new to the preschool and the area, so this was all new territory for me. Thankfully, she said YES! and we’ve been friends ever since. Actually, all three of us have and have added others. Back then, we even went so far as to start a (women’s) group that would meet once a month. Try new things, hit a restaurant, laugh, talk. We realized the importance of girlfriendships and wanted to foster that. We called ourselves the Saving Graces.
Over time, the group, now just called The Graces, has whittled down to about 5 of us. Gatherings, which started out enthusiastically with things such as indoor rock-climbing and salsa dancing lessons, have now turned into rather sporadic morning coffees, the occasional firepit-and-drinks or just drinks and snacks at someone’s house. All these nights are still truly enjoyable, but the fire that lit the group initially has dimmed a bit. Life has seemingly gotten in the way of our once consistent first-Wednesday-of-the-month get-togethers and I feel badly about this. We all live in different towns. Kids go to different schools. There are different activities for all. You know the drill.
I have felt badly about this for a while, but tonight sealed the deal. That friend that I originally asked to coffee announced last night that she is moving to a far-away state this summer. Thankfully, this story isn’t about someone announcing they are sick or something akin to that (knock on wood). Phew. Phew. Phew. Yes, it’s just a move in a very mobile and small-world age, but she’s moving nonetheless and it’s made me plain ol’ sad. I know this move will be good for her and her family and I’m happy for her, as any friend would be. In fact, a girls-weekend in this new state will be in short order probably by the fall, which would be fun. BUT. She’s moving and that’s no fun for the rest of us staying. This is a gal who lovingly brought me chicken soup when I was sick (I had a HORRIBLE bug once and was stranded on the couch for a few days). We laugh that she virtually threw the soup on my front porch and ran as fast as her legs would carry her back to her car for fear of being contaminated. We went camping together…in fact, she introduced me to camping. She and I took our kids, we went another time with our families and we also went with The Graces, one very cold October weekend. On that particular trip, we didn’t realize that the bathrooms had already closed for the season (yes, we have our bar. Bathrooms are in order. Unfortunately, it was out-houses that weekend. Horror. I’ve never been so freaked out just going to the bathroom at night in my life ) OR that the temp would get down to freezing that night. We are still laughing about that trip.
This is a woman who I laugh like a hyena with whenever we get together. We talk about books, movies, kids, families, men, gossip, real-life, religion, good stuff, bad stuff. All of it. And, unfortunately now, she’s headed out of dodge in the near future. Do I regret life getting in the way these past few years and our get-togethers being more infrequent? Yup. Sure do and I learned a big lesson last night. Girlfriends are the glue. They keep you sane. They keep you laughing. They show you love and new adventures and help you work through sticky situations. And, like any other good thing in life, you have to work at it and don’t take it for granted for one stinkin’ minute. Don’t let it go by the wayside. Don’t think it will always just be next door and easily available.
Pick up the phone.
Write the email.
Do it now.